As new Creative Director of the modern footwear women’s footwear brand Via Spiga, Carla De Freitas’ first order of business was a significant one. Freitas moved a majority of production of the brand from China back to its original factory in Italy, the one that was used when the brand first launched in 1985. The long history between the brand and the original production site enabled the designer and her team to give the brand an original voice.
Since the brand’s inception, it has catered to the modern woman, and now, as it returns to its modern roots with updated technology, the brand is relaunching into a new era.
As De Freitas says, “I’d love to see the brand build a strong brand identity and design language to be a go-to footwear resource for the modern women for all her lifestyle needs.”
Carla De Freitas visited the Nordstrom Flagship in September to introduce the FW ‘17 collection and talk style with fans of the iconic brand. I had the opportunity to speak with her prior to the event, and I could have spent all morning hearing about her vision and the passion and knowledge on which it is based.
Via Spiga blends streamlined design with luxury materials, such as soft leather, suedes and rich calf hair. The accessible price points and diverse designs offer something for everyone, from heeled boots to flats, pumps, slides and sneakers. Via Spiga’s newest color palette features classic neutrals and rich warm tones, with contemporary details such as polished metallic embellishments and perforated leather.
De Freitas is involved with every aspect of the company and its brand reinvention, from design, to materials, logo and packaging. This comprehensive, hands-on approach has created a beautifully modern Via Spiga and has made the Via Spiga fall collection the perfect addition to a thought-out wardrobe. Its heel heights, color blocking and metallic details are right in step with current design trends.
De Freitas started from the beginning from the beginning, so to speak: paring the brand’s image down to its essence and then building it from there.
“It’s been fun to go back to the archives and re-look at the design language that was first created and build upon this,” says De Freitas. “We really went back to the beginning and re-looked at every aspect of the brand: logo, packaging, website, showroom and of course the footwear collection!”
When I asked how she felt the needs of women have changed since the brand’s inception in 1985, she told me that back in the 80s, the working woman was a newer concept in the business world. Via Spiga was ahead of its time in the way they offered footwear for the women who worked out of the home. Now, the smart phone has played a major role in changing all that, she tells me. We are all working women now, De Freitas states, because we can work from anywhere.
From cab to dining room, the limits are lifted and have opened a world of possibilities for the modern woman. A working mother herself, the designer connects with the Via Spiga consumer who want footwear that has chic design as well as all day comfort to maintain the perfect balance of form and function.
“My approach on this new collection has always been to think about myself as a consumer. For me comfort and ease of wearing are essential. We also developed sneaker styles which feel right for the brand and modern working women. We are all so busy in the digital age juggling many different tasks, and for me our footwear needs to move with us whilst still looking and feeling great.”
“It’s not to say that we won’t do dramatic high heels that make you look and feel fabulous, but we’re always thinking about our shoes feeling as comfortable as possible,” De Freitas adds.
“For example our ‘Faxon’ sandal is very alluring with a strong distinctive heel. It’s a high heel but I intentionally widened the back of the heel to both bring a new shape for this category but also to help you feel more stable.”
From beautiful boots to sleek sneakers and fantastic high heels, the Via Spiga FW ’17 Collection is not to be missed.
Shop the collection at Nordstrom in stores now or online here.
Images courtesy of Via Spiga.